Bears

Bears WR Kendall Wright looking for career restart with OC Dowell Loggains

Bears WR Kendall Wright looking for career restart with OC Dowell Loggains

Wide receiver Kendall Wright chose to sign with the Bears this offseason for a variety of reasons, not the least of which was a $4 million contract in a market that did not favor many receivers with extended deals and big guarantees.
 
In this case, however, the Bears offered an opportunity for Wright to reconnect with offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains, who held that position and that of passing-game coordinator with the Tennessee Titans during Wright's first two NFL seasons coming out of Baylor – seasons that saw the best catch totals of his career: 63 as a rookie in 2012, 94 in 2013.
 
For Wright, Loggains' less-is-more mindset suited the former No. 1 pick (20th overall) coming out of an improve offense with Baylor teammate Robert Griffin III.
 
"Dowell is just 'get open,'" Wright said on Wednesday via conference call. "He's not doing anything special; I just think I fit in the offense he runs pretty well. He put no limitations on my game. He didn't just tell me to play 'slot.' He let me play whatever I wanted to play, whatever position. The more you can do with him, the better you'll be."
 
The Titans had picked up the fifth-year option on Wright's rookie contract in 2015 for $7.32 million. But he was in the midst of the misfortune of playing with a quarterback dogpile in Tennessee, with the Titans using nine different quarterbacks over the span of his five seasons, including such luminaries as Alex Tanney, Jake Locker and Rusty Smith.
 
For that reason, working and developing a relationship with fellow new Bear quarterback Mike Glennon, who'd already been in touch with the receiver group via text, was not a negative. "I don't think it'll take long," Wright said, citing his experience with the Tennessee quarterback musical chairs.
 
Wright agreed to a one-year contract for a reported $4 million, another situation of the Bears bringing in a veteran but with very clear prove-it requirements. He was considered a deep threat coming into the draft, running 40-yard-dash times in the 4.4-seconds twice after a slow time at the NFL Scouting Combine.
 
He was hampered early last season by a hamstring injury, and he was a late-season scratch for missing a team meeting. He cleaned out his locker in the Titans facility at the end of the year, and said he did not expect to be in their plans for 2017, telling reporters with some emotion, "I never seen a day where I would be talking about leaving the Titans ... I mean, I never really thought about that day, it just snuck up on me, really," Wright said. "This whole year I just stayed positive and just did what I [could to] be a pro and help these young guys. They got a lot of talent and they'll be really good in the future."
 
Now his focus has turned to a new group of young receivers, another part of the attraction in Chicago, Wright said. "I think, really just the young receivers they have and a hungry quarterback in Mike Glennon, who hasn't played much but you know he can sling it."

A fan's guide for how to watch the NFL Combine

A fan's guide for how to watch the NFL Combine

The 2020 NFL Combine will go a long way in determining the final draft grade for each of the 337 prospects participating in on-field drills. General managers and scouts want to see whether their athletic testing matches the traits noted on film. If a player runs faster than he plays, scouts will question his on-field instincts and overall football IQ. In the alternative, if he runs slower than he plays, questions about level of competition and the ability to 'win' on the NFL level will be raised.

But in order to understand whether or not a prospect is having a good performance, you first have to know what the NFL is looking for as its minimum time/result required for each position and drill.

NFL Hall-of-Fame executive Gil Brandt, one of the legendary draft minds in the sport, shared what has become the standard breakdown each team uses when assessing a player's 40 time, 3-cone drill, broad jump, vertical jump and more.

Check it out:

Keep this page bookmarked this week and refer back to this chart as your favorite Bears prospects try to run and jump their way to Chicago. 

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2020 mock draft sends Bears OL, CB in 2nd round

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USA TODAY

2020 mock draft sends Bears OL, CB in 2nd round

The 2020 NFL Draft is front and center with the NFL Combine kicking off this week in Indianapolis. The week-long underwear Olympics represents the real start of draft season for the casual fan. Two months from now, we'll find out who the next class of Bears will be, and many of those players will make their case to GM Ryan Pace and the rest of the team's decision-makers over the next several days.

With the unofficial start of draft season comes the need to review the 2020 mock draft landscape. Pace has a chance to add two starters in the second round, and it's important to get a feel for which players could be within reach when Chicago picks at Nos. 43 and 50.

In Joe Marino's latest mock draft for The Draft Network, the Bears add a legitimate starting interior lineman and a cornerback who can challenge to do the same.

At No. 43, Marino sends Chicago Matt Hennessy, the standout center from Temple who can serve in the same capacity for the Bears if Nagy decides to kick Cody Whitehair back to guard. Hennessy was arguably the most impressive offensive lineman at the 2020 Senior Bowl. He routinely won his one-on-one reps and looked every bit the part of a decade-long starter in the middle of an NFL offensive line. 

What makes Hennessy so appealing is his ability to play either center or guard. We saw last season what a position change can do (both good and bad) along the interior of Chicago's offensive line, so depending on what the long-term outlook is for James Daniels and Whitehair, a player like Hennessy can fit any outcome. He'd be a great selection.

At No. 50, Chicago takes Mississippi State cornerback, Cameron Dantzler. This is the first mock draft that has Dantzler pegged to the Bears and it probably won't be the last that has Pace using one of his two second-rounders on a cornerback. The release of Prince Amukamara last week will move cornerback higher on the team's priority list.

Dantzler started 22 games for Mississippi State and totaled five interceptions over the last three seasons. At 6-2, 185 pounds, he brings good height and length to the pros. He projects like a fit in almost any defensive system and could come off the board much higher than the average fan is expecting at this point. How he performs in the athletic testing at the NFL Combine will be critical in his final evaluation. 

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